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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Unfortunately, back in April, my Granddad, the man who got me (and my brother Rich, as I suspect he will end up seeing this too) into cars, and engines, and building, and welding, and all the other stuff that causes me so much trouble, passed away at the age of 84 (fairly ripe old age, given some of the stuff he got up to 馃槀 ) .

Over the years, he has been involved in all sorts of stuff that people on here might be interested in, not least of which is that from about the early/mid 60s, through to 1984, he, along with my Nan owned and ran a VW/Audi dealership, in Walsall in the West Midlands called 'Jem of Walsall'

Nan passed away about 6 years ago, so now me and Rich have the interesting, hilarious, surprising, heartbreaking, confusing, annoying and all the other emotions you can think of task of clearing his house, garages and yard of a lifetime of car/boat/general tomfoolery.

I am likely to have loads of stuff to post up here over the next few months as I uncover it (and actually find time to do so), and as long as people are finding it interesting, and want me to carry on, I will do so, as it doesnt seem right for none of this stuff to ever see the light of day again other than just within our family.

Granddad took a load of cine film, so I will start with a few of those, as I think they might be of interest:

First up is a general view around the garage, in 1969, in the snow:



Next up, also in 1969, a little trip around one of the workshops, and the parts department:


And lastly for this first instalment, slightly earlier I think, probably 66 or so, him tying some souvenirs bought on a cruise onto the roof of his Dads Rover, and then another shot of the front of the garage.

Makes me laugh, as his Dad checks the tying on in the exact same way as he has always checked any tying on we have done - I know where he got it from now 馃榿



Assuming anyone is interested at all, I will try and update this reasonably regularly (there are bloody loads of just cine films alone, let alone pictures, stuff we are finding in with his things etc etc) but obviously we are pretty busy actualy sorting all this lot at the minute, as well as normal family life etc.

Let me know what you think, whether people want me to keep posting things, and shout if any questions - I could chat about him till the cows come home - he was my hero, and I don't half miss him....

Jem Molyneux - May 1937- April 2022
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My condolences.
Cheers - We all knew it was coming, and when they told him that he had it and it couldn't be treated (it was lung cancer) his first reaction was that he was surprised he had got away with it till he was nearly 85, given he smoked for years, had spent a life in the motor and building trades with all the asbestos, dust and chemicals that entails, and that he certainly never used to wear masks etc.

Doesn't make it any easier for the rest of us, unfortunately, but he had a good, long, mainly healthy and interesting life, which is all any of us can hope for I guess!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next up is the launch of the VW K70 - 1969:


Well not THE launch, obviously, but the launch as far as the garage was concerned 馃榿 The big blue '30s Humber at the start was Granddads that he rebuilt with his Dad (and that we still have) - More to come on that in later posts I suspect.

The Red Beetle was the accessories display car in the showroom - I didn't realise bonnet bras had been a thing for such a long time!

He wasn't the biggest fan of the watercooled FWD stuff as it started to come in, but did come round (to some degree) over time. I do sometimes wonder if it was his dogged 'loyalty' to the aircooled stuff that perhaps hindered the growth of the garage and led to them shutting up shop in the end.


Jumping around a bit in terms of time 'Knocking down old workshops' must be around '76/'77 as the Silver Beetle Cabriolet in the footage is my Mums (which we still have) and was a 76 model:


I am slightly dubious of the way they appear to have knocked the old workshops down while they were actually full of vehicles 馃槀

The end shot of the row of campers shows that they were Esso for the Petrol at this point too. Over time they were Regent, Esso and Texaco (I think in that order)


Not all the garage related footage is actually in-situ Brands Hatch Caravan show (Possibly 1980):


He reckoned the massive awning thing that you can see was a VW/Audi UK thing that you could ask them to bring along to trade shows etc if you were putting on a certain size display. Shame that wasn't his, because if that was in his yard somewhere, it would be just the job to have on the drive to work on the car under away from the weather 馃槃


Lastly for the minute, a bit of assorted retro car eye candy - Lombard Rally, Trentham Gardens, Nov 81:


Thats it for the minute - will be back soon!...........
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
A few more this evening -

I will struggle to put any up for a few days, so wanted to drop some on here now while I have a chance:

Construction 1980:


Pretty sure this was a spray booth and extension to the workshops. Granddad being the man he was, we still have a small pile of those white bricks at the top of our garden 42 years later - There was no way any would be going to waste once the builders were done 馃槀

Not that it probably means much to anyone other than us, but you get a glimpse of him through the window towards the end, waving the RSJ down into position in a terrible suit. I can guarantee even without sound, that when it was in place, he will have shouted 'woah' to confirm.


Feb 78 - Concrete pouring, removing Kiosk and new Canopy:


Bit of a mix of building stuff here. Your man 'Bill' laying the concrete in his slacks and cardigan with a pipe in his mouth turns up in a few of these whenever concrete is being poured 馃榿

The white bay window pickup being used to take the old petrol kiosk away (and being MASSIVELY overloaded from the look of it 馃槀) was a part exchange that came in, got sprayed Dove Blue shortly after this and became the garage pool pick-up. Granddad fell in love with it, kept it as his own, and again (surprise surprise) we still have it.

The Esso tanker, according to the notes written on the cine was the first Esso delivery that they had.

You start to see the forecourt looking a lot less like an old fashioned garage here and looking more like a modern dealership/petrol station I guess too.


Dropping ten years back in time, I think this '1968 Forecourt Trimming' is probably the earliest footage of the forecourt etc I think.

Its terrible quality at the start, but its worth it for some nice close ups when the quality clears up a bit


When we were watching all these in his last few weeks, he reckoned it was some promotion by Regent that they were setting up for at the start, hence the cardboard cut-out Regent woman that pops up all over the place 馃槀

The little MG sportscar parked on the end of the forecourt was a petrol and service regular apparently - A little old lady who used to bomb round in her sporty little two seater well into what Granddad reckoned was her 80s :)


As I cant put any up for a few days, there is a bit of a longer one below (20 mins or so) 'Silverstone 1980'

They were both on the same cine reel, and only marked up as Racing at Silverstone 1980, but I am guessing from the change of weather, its 2 different race meets - Historic racing in the pouring rain, and some saloon etc racing, with a guest appearance by Thrust 2, I assume doing a PR tour.

There is some pretty tasty stuff in the car parks etc too


As I say, I will struggle to update much for a few days, but there is definitely more coming!
 

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The white bay window pickup being used to take the old petrol kiosk away (and being MASSIVELY overloaded from the look of it 馃槀) was a part exchange that came in, got sprayed Dove Blue shortly after this and became the garage pool pick-up. Granddad fell in love with it, kept it as his own, and again (surprise surprise) we still have it.
Has it still got the home-made quarter bumpers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Has it still got the home-made quarter bumpers?
:D yeah, and the accompanying bit of girder in between with a tow bar on it - I think at a bus/vanfest one year, he did get a proper one to go on it 'when' it got restored, but he never got to restoring it (we still have it, but it hasn't seen the road for a long time) and I haven't yet come across the bumper in our sorting :ROFLMAO:
 

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Sorry to hear about your Granddad Dan.

My Dad knew Jem motors back in the early 70s and knew people over Walsall way who used them (we were near Dudley though so my Dad used Dudley Port Motors and Holloway Bank Service Station to get his Beetle serviced).

Please keep the info and videos coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry to hear about your Granddad Dan.

My Dad knew Jem motors back in the early 70s and knew people over Walsall way who used them (we were near Dudley though so my Dad used Dudley Port Motors and Holloway Bank Service Station to get his Beetle serviced).

Please keep the info and videos coming.
Its always nice to hear of people who had heard of it, even in passing etc :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
June 1981 - Danbury Disabled Conversion:

This is a bit of filming of ITV filming a conversion of a Danbury camper at the garage, converted for disabled owners. I don't know if he was interviewed etc, or if they just used the garage to supply/film it, as I've never seen the ITV end of it! Its crazy to think that something that I guess is pretty (relatively) easy to get hold of now (i.e an adapted camper/vehicle) was newsworthy not all that long ago.



Footings for Parts Dept:


Will be 70s at some point. Its not the most exciting cine film ever, to be honest, but Bill makes a return in his trademark PPE cardi, and its interesting to see that a main dealer would use their own staff in quiet times to be laying the foundations in their overalls 馃槀 I cant imagine that happening now in the days of the big dealer groups! I guess you would never get such major work going on nowadays while the garage is still open to customers either.


West Park Classic Car Show Late 70s:


Anyone in the West Mids will definitely know West Park as a venue for classic car shows - Good to see they have been going on for a while!

After the parade which takes up most of the film, is more footage of Granddads Humber that featured in an earlier film in the garage. He bought as his own car early on in his driving career and rebuilt it with his Dad. He took it round various shows for a fair few years in the 60s, 70s and 80s, it served as my Mum & Dads wedding car, and then has been parked up since the early 80s (always under cover) but still!

Its not in the worst shape, but its not in the best either, unfortunately. Currently under a car port, and covered in/surrounded by all sorts, it will be a little while until we can pull it out, but having cleared stuff from round it the other day and had a peer inside, it still smells exactly the same as it did when I used to play in it as a kid.

My Dad, as his son-in-law was obviously trusted enough to transport it for him, as its him driving it off on the back of the garage liveried LT recovery truck at the end. He had the LT built specifically by a local coachbuilders from an LT Chassis/cab, and reckoned VW told him it was the first flatbed LT recovery wagon of that type, but I don't know how confirmed that actually is!


Joe and Empty Houses Pleck Road:


I have no idea who Joe is, but I am guessing its the guy walking down the road at the start of the film!

The garage site actually started as Granddads Dads builders yard, which previously was a small manor house and grounds/outbuildings. Initially they got a few petrol pumps for the builders wagons, and I believe whoever supplied the petrol at the time said that they had to supply the public too, which is where the garage started from and grew from.

This shows quite well how over time they expanded to the surrounding houses, which ended up getting consumed by the garage too, creating a pretty big 'empire'. You will be unsurprised, if you are building a picture of the man, to find out that we only actually got rid of the last of these houses (even though all the rest of the site was sold in 1984) to the current owner of the site about 4 years back, as even though it was derelict and being used for people to fly tip in, he just couldnt get rid of the last bit of it he still had hold of! Its the end one that you see from 1.18 in, and frankly looked derelict then, so am actually fairly surprised it was still standing recently!
 
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